Last week in my Personal Evangelism class at ABI I shared a lesson on the topic of evangelism in the Old Testament. Here is the simple outline of the material I taught.
1. God is the first true evangelist. I used Genesis 12:1-3. God comes to Abram and instructs him to make a change in his life and he would bless him for it. That blessing was actually the coming of Jesus as the New Testament teaches. (Galatians 3:14)
2. Even the Law required people to respond in faith. I used two stories for this truth. Moses in Deuteronomy 30:15-20 tells the people he has set before them blessings and curses, life and death. Then he asks them to choose life. Joshua in the same manner in Joshua 24:14-15 tells the people they need to choose whom they are going to serve. Evangelism is about asking people to respond positively in faith to God’s instruction.
3. God cares more about people than his messengers. I walked the class through the story of the book of Jonah. If you know the story then you know that God wanted to change Nineveh and Jonah just wanted it destroyed. God’s grace is always bigger than mans.
4. God’s messengers should never quit sharing the message. For this truth I used the story of Isaiah in chapter 6. He sees this great vision of God and then God asks who will go speak for him. Then in Isaiah 6:9-10 God says that he will keep speaking until the people quit listening and then he will just keep teaching. The interesting part is that this verse is quoted in Matthew 13:13-15 and Acts 28:26-27 and both of those are passages about the spreading of the gospel.
I believe that God laid foundations in the Old Testament for His and his people’s actions in the New Testament. These truths and passages help us to understand evangelism in the Church.